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What does the color of your passport mean?

Looks+familiar%3F+Ever+wondered+why+this+passport+is+blue+while+others+have+different+colors%3F
Looks familiar? Ever wondered why this passport is blue while others have different colors?

Looks familiar? Ever wondered why this passport is blue while others have different colors?

via Pixabay

via Pixabay

Looks familiar? Ever wondered why this passport is blue while others have different colors?

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Passports are essential when traveling around the world. Surprisingly, passports only come in different shades of these four colors: red, blue, green, and black. The reasons why countries choose a certain color is not always known, but there are many possibilities. Passport colors may be chosen because of political or geographical motives, while some countries pick colors based on their religion or faith. Others select a color that reflects their individuality and unique qualities. Whatever the real reason may be, there are many inferences that can be made about why countries choose a certain passport color.

Red (burgundy) passports are used primarily by the European Union. Countries who are interested in joining the EU have also used red for their passports. Passports of the Andean Community or past EU-ambitions, which includes Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru use red passports as well. However, Switzerland uses red to match the bright color of their flags. A few countries in Asia utilize red for their passports for various reasons, such as Japan who uses red to indicate how long the passport is valid. According to Hrant Boghossian, Passport Index Vice President of Marketing, “Some could argue that the burgundy red is due to a past communist history.”

Caribbean states usually use blue for the color of their passports. Boghossian stated that blue passports are common in the “New World” nations in North America, South America and Oceania. The customs union of Mercosur, whose members are currently Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay, all use a blue passport. The United States did not use blue passports until 1976, when they switched to a navy blue passport to match the color of the flag.

Islamic states typically use green passports. It is commonly used in Muslim countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The Prophet Muhammad’s favorite color is thought to be green, and it also represents nature and life, so countries potentially use this color because of its religious significance. The Economic Community of West African States also selects shades of green for their passports.

Black looks the cleanest and most official color, which may be a reason why some countries choose it. New Zealand and a few other countries like the Republic of Botswana and Zambia use black to match their flag. Amazingly, black is the least commonly used as a passport color.

There are many possible reasons behind each color, but ultimately passports are important documents that can represent a right of passage. They are a document used around the world by basically everyone. Not many realize that passports are an important symbol of a nation’s identity. Kraemer student Kaitlin K. states.”I have never really thought about why certain countries have that color passport, but I think the reasons behind it are interesting.”

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What does the color of your passport mean?